Just like the creatures of Narnia in CS Lewis’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, we are also awaiting the return of our King. In their case, the land had been covered with a curse, where it was always winter and never Christmas. The simple joyous summer nights filled with festivities around the campfire in the middle of the woods— they were gone, now replaced by cold, snow, and the rule of an evil witch. That can sound familiar can’t it? Which isn’t a coincidence, as CS Lewis’s story was written as an allegory to the Christian life. Here we are children of the kingdom, like, the Pevensie children. Our hearts know what it is like to be in God’s kingdom, and our hearts know that right will be restored, but in the meantime, we belong to a world, covered with snow and with the curse of the fall. But, just like the little whispers that started making their rounds from the creatures of Narnia— we feel a whisper stirring up in our own heart, as well:
“Aslan is on the move. Our king is returning. Everything that is right will be restored.”
What hope that brings to our hearts. Everything will be restored. The things that make our heart heavy— the things we were not created to endure, like death and separation, sickness, overwhelming burdens and challenges— they will be melted, just like the snow in Narnia. The statues that were turned to ice from the scepter of the White Witch— like the beloved fawn Tumnus— were restored and brought back to life. What a glorious picture of the coming of Christ and of the kingdom of Christ, ruling and reigning!
With the Easter Story fresh on our minds, I have been thinking about how hopeless the disciples must have felt after the death of Christ. Jesus had been warning them time and time again throughout all their years together that He would be leaving, that He had a greater call to fill… yet still caught them by surprise. And when His body had laid in the grave and nothing immediately had happened— disappointment, discouragement, and confusion must have plagued their hearts and souls. I’m sure they gathered and tried to cheer each other’s spirit and remind themselves of what Jesus had said— yet before them all they could see was the dark and the hopelessness, their Savior had died, their Savior had left them. Now they were alone, but oh the hope that came on Sunday morning!
In CS Lewis’s Narnia the creatures of the Kingdom had been under a long and weary spell. Yet hope was restored at the mere mention of Aslan’s name. “Aslan is on the move,” was the proclamation that traveled from beaver dam, to tiny house, to living trees of the woods. “Aslan is on the move,” they would say to encourage their own hearts as much as others. In the disciple’s story, those same whispers of hope, and even shouts of proclamation became more abundant around the city as more sightings of Jesus came, starting of course, with the first one, where he appeared to Mary. (Don’t you love that he appeared to her first? What a great backstory Mary has and how Jesus alone was the one who could save her. So with his death she must have been most distraught… her Savior, her hope… dead. But resurrection morning— there he was before her… fully alive! Praise God!) The sightings of Jesus continued in many miraculous ways. But even with the whispers of His resurrection traveling throughout the city there was one disciple who doubted— one disciple who didn’t allow the hope of Jesus resurrection in his heart, until he saw it. I don’t know about you, but I sure identify with Thomas, and even feel sad for the poor fellow to be remembered for his doubt. Why did he doubt? Was there some situation in his past that he felt like God hadn’t come through for him? Or was he too cynical to hope? Had he been hurt in the past, and did not want to subject himself to opening his heart to something that could leave him short handed again? We don’t know Thomas’s whole story but what fun research that would be. (In fact, Angela Hunt has fictionalized her own story of Thomas— and his twin!— based on many facts presented in the Bible. Look it up here https://www.angelahuntbooks.com/books/daughter-of-cana/ )
All I can say is, I want hope to arise in my heart.
Yes, let hope arise in our hearts even on the dark days, even when it’s confusing or even when it feels like we’ve been left alone, like the disciples must have felt. May we recall His words. May we recall the tenderness in His smile, the kindness in His eyes, and remember that He is God’s son. Our dearest friend. Miracle Worker. The Light in the Darkness. Because He is alive we have hope, unending unswerving hope. And it’s not just a hope that is unfounded or an illusion. It’s True Hope— hope that will carry us through the dark snow covered Narnia days where the land is ruled by evil.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
1 Peter 1:3
May our hearts shine within us— may our hearts glow, telling us that Jesus is on the move. He has already redeemed us. One day He will come in rectify the whole earth— make everything right.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold I make all things new.”
Another important thing that I have seen from the story in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”, was how the animals who believed in Aslan and His rule and reign— encouraged themselves. There was a grapevine of gossip (in a good way) going across the land. In fact, one of my favorite scenes is the scene with the beavers and how they take the Pevensie children into their dam for dinner and protection for the night. Mr. Beaver explain who Aslan is by quoting an Narnian rhyme:
“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”
“The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe”CS Lewis, Chapter 8
They fed the children and filled the children’s spirits with the knowledge of Aslan, and who He is and how He’s on the move. They taught the children that even though it looks like the land is ruled by the evil, there is a true King who rules over all— one who will restore all as it should be. They also revealed to them their special place as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve in Aslan’s master plan. Mr. Beaver said, there were whisperings going on. “Aslan is on the move, King Jesus is on the move”. They encouraged themselves with that news. Winter and evil would no longer rule and reign… Aslan was coming to make all right again. Yes, winter would melt away and spring would return again.
May we, as the church and as fellow believers, encourage each other as well. May we tell those who have never heard the story the wonderful news and may there be a light that clears away the darkness in their own hearts and replaces it with Christ’s soft glow. May we help others understand the role that they have in God’s story and may we remember how we fit in that story as well. May we encourage each other as we speak of the Lord and speak of His Word and His promises. This is how hope is born & kept alive inside of each one of us.
We celebrate the hope that Jesus has brought us through His death and resurrection. And not only do we celebrate that, but we also celebrate the hope of His return, “King Jesus is on the move. King Jesus will return again!”
Until next time,
PS. If you haven’t read “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by CS Lewis I encourage you to! It is a light and easy read (written for children) and the TRUTH will bless you.